Aren’t they pretty! I’m so eggs-xcited! At long last, our girls are coming up with the goods. To the left, a nice sized white egg from one of our Plymouth Rocks, And to the right – drumroll please – pretty pale blue eggs from our Araucana.
And everyone is asking – are they blue inside too? ( ew) . No!
Last week I told you all about my delivery of Autumn Joy for the new garden bed.
Next purchase for this bed is some big fillers for down the embankment. I’ve planted some Pennisetum Rubrum in the front garden bed and they have thrived on my neglect. I watered them every couple of days for the first fortnight and then never after. Great! Here is an example of how they look en masse:
I love the fluffy grassy look and in particular have a thing for burgundy coloured plants. I imagine these are quite pretty swaying in the breeze.
These guys must be popular because I have looked all over the place for some at a reasonable price. The first few I bought at Bunnings were around $15 each ( on special!). That’s fine if you need 2 or 3 but big gardens need lots of plants! I’ve found that the cheap little tubestock plants grow fairly quickly if I keep the water up to them in the first few weeks. So I was thrilled to find a source of Pennisetum Rubrum in small sizes, and at a good price to boot! I got them for $1.95 each at an online nursery called Evergreen Growers Online. Here’s the link to the item listing ( while it lasts!)
Baby Tractor is broken. It blew up with a large black puff of smoke while burying a dead chook. I think we have killed it with overwork, poor little thing.
While we wait for repairs, we want to take advantage of the lovely cool autumn weather and get some progress with the new playground area. Next task is to create a garden bed alongside the embankment ( see my dodgy iphone photo below ). As Baby Tractor is broken, we have done the entire job by
hand shovel. Groan – at least we are burning calories.
Until recently, we have been buying mushroom compost from the local mushroom farm at the bargain price of $25 per trailer load. Cheeeap! Sadly, they won’t supply retail any more so we have had to get some from the local landscape supply store at $75 a trailer load. Ouch. I’m still looking for a source, if you know of a cheap compost supplier please speak up!
We are looking for plants that will enjoy full sun, wind, and very little water. I like this list by Rick Eckersley of plants that will do the job. It includes one I’ve seen a lot in his work, like this:
Isn’t that pretty? Love the combination of colours. I think the sedum he’s used there is called Autumn Joy. It’s a succulent-like plant with flowers that go from pink to red to bronze over the summer to autumn. Three colours for the price of one – love that!
I haven’t seen this in garden centres before but found one plant at the Willunga market. I bought it and gave it a trial run in the front garden bed… it hasn’t died yet so I’m calling it a winner. I ordered from Diggers and they sent me 3 each of Sedum Matrona ( with burgundy stems and leaves ) and also 3 Sedum Autumn Joy. Here are my baby plants ready to go out into the world:
There’s not much to them is there? Just a brown stick and a few green leaves peeking through. Hopefully it will grow a bit. The sedums will go towards the front of the bed. I’m hoping I can figure out how to propogate them next season so I can fill it right up with lovely colour. Anyone had any success? If so let me know, I’m all ears!
My mother in law commented the other day that she had never used fresh garlic in her cooking. Whaat? Hardly a day goes by when I’m not using the stuff. I will have to excuse her, she’s British. Makes a fabulous roast dinner though! ( Luv ya Mavis x )
Last year we experimented and bought some bulbs from the local garden shop and a handful of purple garlic from the local Willunga Farmer’s Market. I stuck them in amongst the rosemary and sage planted alongside the vegie patch and christened it ” The Roast Hedge”. Garlic, rosemary and sage… get it? Lol.
To my great surprise, the stuff thrived and in late summer when the leaves started to die down I was able to harvest a huge amount of lovely fresh garlic cloves. It seems to need very little water or care which suits me just fine of course.
The juicy, fresh new cloves were delicious roasted and have a sweeter flavour than I’ve ever tasted before. Yum. We made Maggie Beer’s Roast Chook with Garlic and Verjuice which involves 30 cloves of garlic. Whoopie! Garlic lovers can find the recipe here.
I managed to figure out how to plait the rest to be hung in the shed (Nonna style – anyone know an Italian Grandmother I can adopt?) We have been using it until now ( April ) as the cloves have just begun to sprout. Apparently, the supermarket varieties are treated with nasty growth retarding chemicals to stop them from doing this. So now the time comes to replant for the next season. Following last year’s success, I have doubled my garlic production this year and hope to have plenty to give away to friends & family.
According to this article April 8th is the time to plant your garlic in Adelaide. Simply pull apart the individual cloves, but leave them unpeeled. Poke the cloves into the soil pointy end up. I planted them in my clay based soil with a bit of compost over the top to help keep the moisture in. Last year I watered once on planting and never again after. Gotta love any plant that thrives without extra water plus provides food in our dry climate.
This would be a great gardening activity to do with small children, the garlic cloves are very robust and I’m sure they would survive even if planted wrong way up. Get the kids involved particularly if you want your garlic spaced in a random fashion
Stand back and watch your garlic grow!
Here’s the beginning of my gallery wall. I’m hoping to completely cover this bedroom wall in family photos and kid’s artwork.
I’m going for full coverage of the wall – “a more is more” look, so I’ve started in the middle of the room and working outwards.
It’s all held together with blu tack and 3m Command picture hangers ( buy them at the supermarket, no power tools required!)
Sharing this specially for the Inspired Room’s Gallery Wall Party. Go have a look at the rest – lots of great inspiration there!
Oh dear I’m such a slack blogger. Too much time spent reading other people’s fabulous posts and not enough time spent here I’m afraid.
Finally, here’s a picture of the hallstand that we had made for our “Mud Room”. We’re pretty happy with the outcome, it’s very sturdy ( read: heavy !). The littlens are pretty happy about having their own “cubby” to hang bags and hats. Most of the time they will put their boots away in their “boot box” underneath. Well kind of.. about 7 times out of 10 they make it in there. I guess that’s probably a good effort for a 2 and 4 year old don’t you think?
Next project for this area – something interesting for the walls. I’d love to do some grasscloth wallpaper but I’m worried about it getting too beat up with the tricycles etc. Any suggestions?
We’ve had a great kid’s day at the adventure playground at Belair National Park. Check out this fantastic tunnel setup ( much better in person than in the photo, multiple tunnels interconnect):
I’d love a (scaled down version) of this in the back yard!
There’s also a big timber “fort”, a big play gym and room for a game of cricket. And of course these:
Plus, the park also has the State Flora plant nursery tucked away in the corner. Lots of Australian natives at reasonable prices. Entry to the park is $10 per car, so it would be worth bringing extra kids if you have spares!
What’s your favourite destination for a kid’s day out?
We have started to take our veggie growing seriously. We’ve just added a further 4 raised beds and are busy filling them with delicious, totally organic produce.
The littlens help us prepare the raised beds – ( mixing in the chook poo is a favourite task.):
They delight in planting seeds.
They help me to pick the crop, proudly showing daddy the results.
The princess will even help cook the proceeds.
And then they flatly refuse to eat it.